Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Missouri Drops in Well-Being Rankings to Become 8th Most Unhealthy State in U.S.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge Why are y'all smiling? Don't you know how low our emotional index score is? - PAUL SABLEMAN, FLICKR

An annual Gallup poll shows Missouri's well-being has taken a beating in the last year. Missouri dropped in the rankings to No. 43 from No. 38, putting the Show-Me State in the bottom quintile with West Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi.

See also: St. Louis Suburbs Shockingly Happy, Gallup Says

The list ranks states based on six categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic necessities. Missouri ranked 46th in the nation in emotional health and healthy behaviors, dragging us down to the eighth-to-last spot.

click to enlarge See how Missouri's circle is small and red, not big and green? That's bad. - GALLUP-HEALTHWAYS
  • Gallup-Healthways
  • See how Missouri's circle is small and red, not big and green? That's bad.

North and South Dakota took the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively, away from Hawaii in 2013 after four years at the top, according to the Gallup Poll. Alaska has the highest score for emotional health, and Massachusetts' high percentage of residents with health insurance again earned it to top score for basic access to necessities.

See also: Don't Let It Bring You Down, But Missouri Is Actually a Pretty Miserable State

Unlike some of our less scientific polls -- like the one that says Missourians are having longer sex than other states or that St. Louisans are the happiest people in the country -- Gallup's poll for Healthways is based on 178,000 interviews, resulting in a sample that represents 95 percent of all U.S. households, according to the report.

But don't worry, Missouri. We'll probably never be dead last in the well-being rankings. West Virginia has that on lock.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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